How to Fight Mold While You’re on Vacation
Are you and your family preparing for a well-deserved vacation? You probably have a mile-long checklist to get ready for your next adventure, but that list might not include mold prevention. However, mold can grow within 48-72 hours of exposure and can quickly spread to other areas of your house. Of course, nobody wants to come home to is a mold problem after a relaxing getaway, but what can you do to fight it while you’re not even there? By following these tips for how to fight mold while you’re on vacation, you can come home to a mold-free environment.
Keep Your AC Running
Before you turn off your AC to save some cash, think again! Your HVAC unit does more than just keep your home cool – it also keeps air moving. Higher temperatures and high humidity encourage mold growth. That damp, stagnant air is attractive to mold spores and gives them the ideal environment to spread. So while you don’t have to keep the atmosphere at your usual temperature, letting it run at all will help prevent mold while the temperatures rise. Plus, some HVAC systems have a built-in dehumidifier to keep condensation from forming around the house, adding another incentive to keep the AC going.
Check Air Filters
While you’re at it, take a look at your HVAC’s air filter. Most HVAC companies recommend you change your filter every three months or so. Many air filters can catch tiny mold spores and stop them from spreading throughout your air ducts. While a filter won’t stop an active mold infestation, it will greatly reduce the chances of spores developing into a problem while you’re away. You’ll also maintain a higher air quality whether you’re at home or not.
Check for Leaks
If you’re wondering how to fight mold from the inside out, you’ll want to check on your home’s exterior. Mold infestations are most likely caused by water damage, and it doesn’t only come from a leaky appliance or burst pipe. So take care of routine maintenance and repairs before your vacation, including both inside and outside.
Everything from an ice machine on your refrigerator to a water heater can spring a leak. Loose connections, failed seals, or cracks can slowly release water or condensation in areas that you can’t even see. If it’s been a while since you’ve checked on your household appliances, all it takes is a quick peek to tell if there’s a leak. However, if you’re concerned that you might be missing something, you can always call a repair technician or book a preemptive mold inspection.
Look around the outside of your home. Do you see a crack in the foundation or a loose shingle? Have you been meaning to replace the seals on your windows or doors? Even small amounts of water caused by leaks can lead to mold, so the best thing you can do is to take care of any problems whether you’re leaving for a vacation or not.
Finish Your Laundry
Getting your family ready to leave for a vacation can quickly turn hectic, and it’s no surprise that tasks go undone. One chore you want to be sure to complete is your laundry. Wet clothes, whether in the washer or on the floor, can become a breeding ground for mold. You might think that your items are safe left in the washing machine, but you’ll eventually have to open the door, releasing microscopic spores into the rest of your home. Even a pile of sweaty running clothes can attract mold! That’s not to say that you must wash absolutely everything; instead, just make sure that nothing is wet or damp.
Before you rush to leave for your vacation, take a few minutes to lower the humidity throughout your home. Ventilate the bathroom well after your showers and any other room where condensation builds. If the weather is tolerable, open a few windows to air out the entire house to clear out any humidity, or simply run a fan. However, be sure to check outdoor humidity levels before opening your doors or windows. Since mold spores can travel in the air, an open window can also raise your humidity level and allow spores inside. In that case, you can open the blinds and curtains to help evaporate humidity and moisture faster.
What to Do If You Have a Mold Problem
Do you suspect a mold infestation? If you suspect that you might have mold, then iMold can help. Our licensed mold removal and remediation experts have the tools and training needed to know how to fight mold to keep your home a safe and healthy environment. Fighting mold on your own is dangerous, but our mold experts are ready to get the job done with verifiable results. Contact us for your free inspection from Southwest Florida’s most trusted mold professionals.